27 June 2014

Egypt: Ethiopia Pledges Not to Harm Egypt's Water Interests

Photo: http://africanarguments.org
Artist's impression of the Renaissance Dam, under construction on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia.

Cairo — Ethiopia pledged not to harm Egypt's water interests in return for Egypt's commitment to dialogue, a statement for Egypt's Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held talks on Thursday with Ethiopia's prime minister in Malabo on bilateral relations and the Ethiopia dam issue.

At a press conference in Malabo, Egypt's foreign minister and his Ethiopian counterpart jointly said that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the Ethiopian Prime Minister confirmed their countries' commitment to cooperation and mutual respect.

The two parties agreed that "the Ethiopian government will avoid any possible harm from the Renaissance Dam on Egypt's water needs, in return for the Egyptian government's commitment to maintain a constructive dialogue with Ethiopia".

"The two countries have emphasised the centrality of the Nile as a main source of life for Egyptians and the awareness of the Ethiopians' developmental needs," they added.

Egyptian-Ethiopian relations have been strained after Ethiopia announced in May 2013 that it will divert the Blue Nile's course to build a dam generating hydro-electric energy.

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